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Amherst Railway Society - Annual Awards and Grants Program

Since 1991, the Amherst Railway Society has funded railroad preservation and restoration projects all over the United States. Including donations made at the 2017 Railroad Hobby Show, the Amherst Railway Society has donated a total of $774,373 to protect and maintain historical railroad artifacts.

Railroads were key to the growth and development of this country, and continue to play a vital economic role in our society. It is our intent to support organizations working to safeguard our national railroad heritage.

The Amherst Railway Society sponsors two annual grant programs.

The Founders’ Award

Established to honor the foresight of the founding members of the Amherst Railway Society, a single $10,000 grant is awarded each year to support either a single large project, or multiple smaller projects totaling $10,000

An organization submitting a Founders' Award request may also submit a Heritage Grant request for the same project.

Selection of the Founders’ Award is made by the Board of Directors.

Founders Award: application information

Heritage Grants

Funds for Heritage Grants are generated by the Amherst Railway Society’s annual Railroad Hobby Show.

Heritage Grants are awarded for smaller projects, or to partially fund larger projects that are receiving matching funds, or for projects that are phased over several years.

At the discretion of the Board of Directors, an application submitted for the Founders' Award, but not selected, may be considered for partial funding as a Heritage Grant.

The Heritage Grant program includes two named grants.

The Robert A. Buck Memorial Award honors our long time Show Director who nurtured the show from a simple swap meet in an auditorium at UMASS-Amherst to the two-day, multi-building show we host today.  

Without Bob's dedication, the Amherst Railway Society would not be able to support the preservation and restoration work of so many organizations.

Selection of the Robert A. Buck Memorial Award is made by the Board of  Directors, and favors projects focused on the Boston & Albany/New York Central railroads, or Maine railroads.

The President's Award is selected from among the Heritage Grants.

Heritage Grants:
application information

Award Announcements

Grant awards are announced each year at the August Meeting of the Amherst Railway Society. This meeting is dedicated solely to our award recipients. Organizations are notified in June in order to make arrangements to attend the August Meeting.


All organizations submitting applications for either grant program must be 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations. 

Organizations may apply to either or both grant programs. However, understand that the Founders' Award is a single $10,000 grant, compared to the Heritage Grant Program which allocates about $10,000 - $20,000 among approximately five to ten organizations.  

The grant cycle for the current year is announced on or shortly after January 1. Applications must be submitted between May 1 and June 30. 

Submission via email is required as The Amherst Railway Society no longer will accept Grant Applications via mail.

Awards by year

Since 1991, the Amherst Railway Society has donated a total of $774,373 to railroad historical and preservation projects. Here is the detail for selected years.

2017 Grants and Awards
2016 Grants and Awards
2015 Grants and Awards
2014 Grants and Awards
2013 Grants and Awards
2011 Grants and Awards
2010 Grants and Awards
2009 Grants and Awards
2008 Grants and Awards
2007 Grants and Awards
grants at work: Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum

Shelburne's New Car Barn

Amherst Railway Society Heritage Award recipient, Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum has been making great progress on a new car barn. An Oil-Water separator goes underground next to the ramp, the car barn floor is graded and ready for ties.
grants at work: Rowe Historical

Thanks From Rowe Historical

Our new exhibit case arrived. Thanks again to the Amherst Railway Society for making it possible for us to have such a beautiful and functional case. The proceeds of our last Rail-Fan helped us acquire this new G-scale F-3. Thanks for all your support. Rowe Historical Society
grants at work: Rangeley

Narrow Gauge Parlor Car Restoration

The Amherst Railway Society is supporting the restoration of narrow gauge parlor car "Rangeley". The car is owned by the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum in Portland, Maine. They are managing the restoration work.
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